Abrahah al-Ashram[1] had built in San'a[2], a church which he called al-Qalis[3]. He built it of marble and employed in the construction the best of gild and wood. Having completed the building of the church, he wrote to the king of Abyssinia saying, "I have built to you a church the like of which no one has ever built. I shall not let the Arabs alone until I divert their pilgrimage away front the house to which they go and turn its course to this church." The news reached one of those on whose authority an intercalation is undertaken (nasa'at al-shukur)[4], who dispatched two of his followers, ordering them




not to return until they had defecated within the church. The two men went and did what they were ordered.

When the news reached Abrahah he became angry, and asked, "Who is it who dared do such a thing'?" He was told, "Some of the people of the Ka'bah did that." Thereupon he became furious and set out [against the Ka'bah or the head of his] Abyssinian [hordes] and elephants. The story of his expedition is well-known[5].

I was told by al-Hasan ibn-'Ulayl[6], on the authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbih[7] that abu-al-Mundhir Hisham ibn-Muhammad said that abu-Miskin[8] had related to him on the authority of his father[9] the following: When Imru'-al-Qays ibn-Hujr set out to raid the banu-Asad he passed by dhul-al-Khalash (This was an idol which stood in Tabalah and which all the Arabs venerated.) It had three divination arrows: "the enjoiner" (al-amir), "the forbidder" (al-nahi), and "the vigilant" (al-mutarabbis). As Imru'-al-Qays stood before the idol, he shuffled the arrows three times and three times he drew "the forbidden". Thereupon he broke the arrows and hurled them at the idol exclaiming, "Go bite thy father's penis! Had it been thy father who was murdered, thou wouldst not have forbidden me avenging him[10]." He then raided the banu-Asad and defeated them. Consequently no more sortilege was practiced before dhu-al-Kahlasah until the advent of Islam [when it was destroyed]. Imru'-al-Qays was thus the first to denounce and renounce it.

We were told by al-'Anazi that 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbih had related to him that Hishim ibn-Muhammad once said that a certain man, nicknamed abu-Bishr and whose real name was




'Amir ibn-Shibl[11], of the Jarm[12] tribe, reported to hint the following: The Quda'ah, the Lakhm, and the Judham, as well as the people of Syria, had an idol called al-Uqaysir to which they were wont to go on pilgrimage and at the [shrine] of which they use to shave their heads. Whenever one of them shaved his head, he would mix the hair with wheat, for every single hair a handful of wheat[13]. During this time the Hawazin were wont to frequent the place, and, if they arrived before the pilgrim had mixed the wheat with the hair, they would say, 'Give it unto us, we are poor men from the Hawazin. But if they should arrive too late, they would take the whole thing, wheat, hair, and lice, [knead it into dough], bake and eat it[14].

Once upon a time the Jarm and the banu-Ja'dah[15] quarrelled over a water well called al-'Aqiq[16] and came to the Prophet seeking his decision. He decided in favor of the Jarm. There upon Mu'awiya ibn-'Abd-al-'Uzza ibn-Dhira' al-Jarmi[17] said:

"When the crowds before the Prophet assemble, I am the brother of the Jarm, as ye well know. If ye are not satisfied with the judgment of the Prophet, I am, and with his words and verdict I am well content. Have ye not seen that the Jarm have prevailed, While your father is squatting amid the lice in al-Uqaysir's vale? And when a gift of wheat is offered he would say,



'Give it unto me, without the lice, and be rewarded there-with; For I am one of the poor men of the Hawazin tribe.' Ye are trot of these people; yea! Ye are not the lowest nor the least. But ye are like the two small fingers of the hand, Which have been excelled in length by the other fingers."[18]

Abu-al-Mundhir Hisham ibn-Muhammad said: lo this connection al-Sharqi[19] recited to me [a few verses by Suraqab ibn-Malik ibn-Ju'sham al-Mudliji[20] of the banu-Kinanah[21]. He recited: "Have not the Judham and the Lakhm who show themselves on [our] festivals, as well as every Quda'ite[22] present, with dishes as big as tanks, stand in Ratiwa[23] abject and abased; waiting for the food of shame, prevented you from cursing us, ye bastards? The one hath no honor to feel the sting; the other hath no valor to give and feed."

I was told by abu-'Ali al-'Anazi on the authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah that abu-al-Mundhir Hisham ibn-Muhammad ibn-al-Sa'ih al-Kalbi related to him that his father once told him that what had given rise to the worship of idols was the following:

When Adam died the children of Seth (Shith)[24], the son of Adam, buried him in a cave in the whereon Adam alighted (when he was sent) to the land of India. (The name of the mountain is Nawdh[25], and it is the most fertile mountain in all the world. Hence the saying, "More fertile than Nawdh and more arid than Barahut[26]. Barahut is a valley in Hadra-




mawt[27], in [the Vicinity of] a village called Tin'ah[28]. Al-'Anazi related to me on the authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah that abu-al-Mundhir once said: I Was told by my father, on the authority of abu-Salih who in turn was quoting ibn-'Abbas, that the souls of the believers were buried in al-Jabiyah[29] in Syria, while those of the polytheists were interred in Barahut.)

I was told by abu-'Ali al-'Anazi on the authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah that abu-al-Mundhir related on the authority of his father, who in turn was quoting abu-Salih on the authority of ibn-'Abbas that the children of Seth were wont to visit the body of Adam in the cave in order to pay their respect to his [memory] and offer their prayers for his soul. Thereupon one of the children of Cain (Qabil)[30], the son of Adam, [addressing his brethren], said, "O children of Cain! Verily the children of Seth have a circuit (dawar) which they circumrotate in veneration, but ye have none." Consequently he carved for them an idol, and was, therefore, the first to make [graven images for worship].

I was told by al-Hasan ibn-'Ulayl on the authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah that abu-al-Mundhir related on the authority of his father the following:

Wadd, Suwaf, Yaghuth, Ya'uq, and Nasr were righteous people who died within one month of one another, and their relatives were grief-stricken over them. Then One of the children of Cain addressed their relatives saying, "O ye who are bereaved! Shall I make unto you five statues after the image of your departed relatives'? I can readily, although I cannot impart life to them." Thereupon he carved unto them five statues after the image of [their departed relatives], and erected them [over their graves].

Then it came to pass that a relative would visit [the grave of] his brother, uncle, or cousin, whatever the case might be, pay his respect to it, and walk around the statue for a while.




This practice lasted throughout the first century [following the death of those five persons]. The statues were made during the time of Jared (Yarid)[31] the son of Malialcel (Malila'il)[32] the son of Cainan (Qinan)[33] the son of Enos (Anush)[34] the son of Seth the son of Adam[35].

Another century followed during which people venerated and respected those statues more than they did during the first century. Then a third century followed, and the people said, "Our forefathers venerated these statues for no other reason than the desire to enjoy their intercession before God." Consequently they worshipped them, and became far game in disbelief. Thereupon God sent unto them the Prophet Idris, who is Enoch (Akhnukh)[36] the son of Jared the son of Mahaleel the son of Cainan. Idris called upon the people to repent and warned them, but they believed him not and hearkened not unto his voice. Therefore God "uplifted him to a place on high[37]."

The position which these statues, [now become idols], occupied in the worship of the people, as ibn-al-Kalbi[38] had related on the authority of ibn-Salih, who in turn had related on the authority of ibn-'Abbis continued to wax strong until the time of Noah (Nuh)[39], 'O the son of Lamech (Lamak)[40] the son of Methuselah (Matushalab)[41] the son of Enoch, whom God sent as a prophet. He was, then, four hundred and eighty years old. For a period of one hundred and twenty years I lie went about] calling the people back to God, but they disobeyed him and believed him not. Thereupon God commanded him to build the ark. Noah completed the ark and entered




therein when he was six hundred years old. And the flood prevailed upon, and covered, the whole earth, and all, [except Noah and those who were in the ark with him], were drowned and perished. And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years[42]. Two thousand and two hundred years intervened between Adam and Noah. The flood washed down these idols from the top of Mount Nawdh to the land below; and as the waters raged and the billows swelled, tile idols were tossed here and there until at last they were cast by the waves on the land of Juddah. When finally the waters receded, the idols were left on the coast [of the city ] - In time they were covered by the sands which the winds blew over from the shore.

I was told by al-Hasan ibn-'Ulayl, who was quoting 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah, that abu-al-Mundhir Hisham ibn-Muhammad once said unto the latter: If a statue were made of wood, or gold, or silver, after a human form, it would be an idol (sanam) but if it were made of stone it would be an image (wathan)[44].

I was told by al-'Anazi on the authority of 'Ah ibn-al-Sabbab who related that abu-al-Mundhir, quoting his father, once said that abu-Salih related on the authority of ibn-'Abbas that the last to remain of the waters of the flood was in Hisma" in the land of the Judham. It remained forty years and then receded.

I was told by abu-'Ali al-'Anazi on rite authority of 'Ali ibn-al-Sabbah that abu-al-Mundhir related on the authority of his father al-Kalbi the following:

'Amr ibn-Luhayy, who is Rabi'ah ibn-Harithah ibn-'Amr ibn-'Amir ibn-Harithah ibn-Tha'labah ibn-Imru'-al-Qays ibn-Mazin ibn-al-Azd, the father of the Khuza'ah (his mother was Fuhayrah, the daughter of al-Harith, but others say she was the daughter of al-Harith ibn-Mudad al-Jurhumi)[45], was a priest (kahin). (He had conquered Mecca, drove the




Jurhumites out of the city, and took over the custody of the House.) He had an oracle of the jinn whose nickname was abu-Thumamah. One day the oracle addressed 'Amr saying:

"Make haste, get thee out of Tihamah Accompanied by peace and luck."

'Amr replied:

"Aye, aye, there shall be no delay, Nothing shall hold me back."

Thereupon the oracle rejoined;

"To the shores of Juddah make thy way; There thou shalt find idols in fine array; With thee to Tihamah take them back, Let nought alarm thee, fear no attack; Then bid the Arabs worship them, one and all, They will hear thy voice and heed thy call."

'Amr proceeded to the shores of Juddah dug the idols out of the sand, carried them to Tihamah, and erected them there. When the time for the pilgrimage arrived, he summoned all the Arabs to their worship. 'Awf ibn-'Udhrah ibn-Zayd -- Allat ibn-Rufaydah ibn-Thawr ibn-Kalb ibn-Wabarah ibn-Taghlih ibn-Hulwan ibn-'Imran ibn-al-Haf[46] ibn-Qudaah[47] answered his call. 'Amr, therefore, gave him Wadd[48] which 'Awf carried to Widi al-Qura and erected it in Dumat al-Jandal. He also named his son 'Abd-Wadd[49], who was the first to be so called, while 'Awf was the first to give one of his children such a name. Henceforth the Arabs named their children after Wadd.

'Awf made his son 'Amir, who was called 'Amir al-Ajdar[50],




its custodian. His descendants continued to hold the office until the advent of Islam.

Abu-al-Mundbir related that [his father] al-Kalbi once said: I was told by Malik ibn-Harithah al-Ajdari that he himself had seen Wadd, and that his father was wont to send him to it with some milk saying, "Offer it unto thy god to drink." Malik added, "I used to drink the milk myself.' He also said, "I also saw it after Khalid ibn-al-Walid had destroyed it and smashed it into pieces." For the Apostle of God had, after the battle of Tabuk[51], sent Khalid ibn-al-Walid to destroy it. But the banu-'Abd-Wadd and the banu-'Amir al-Ajdar resisted Khalid and attempted to defend the idol. Khalid, therefore, fought and defeated them, and then destroyed [the shrine] and demolished the idol. Among those killed in battle on that day was a man of the banu-'Abd-Wadd whose name was Qatan ihn-Shurayb[52]. His mother happened upon him dead and thereupon cried out saying:

"Verily friendiship doth never last, Nor do the blissful times 'er endure; A mother's love doth not save a son From misfortune, nor his life insure."

She then said:

"O thou the centre of my love, The source of all my joy and mirth! Would that thy mother were never born, Nor e'er to thee hath given birth."

After which she fell over his body sobbing and died. Hassan ibn-Masad[53], the cousin of al-Ukaydir[54] the ruler




of Dumat al-Jandal, was also killed. [In short] it was Khalid who destroyed [Wadd].

Al-Kalbi[55] continued: I then requested Malik ibn-Harithah saying, "Describe to me Wadd in such a way which would make it appear vividly before me." Malik replied, "lt was the statue of a huge man, as big as the largest of human beings, covered with two robes, clothed with the one and cloaked with the other, carrying a sword on his waist and a bow on his shoulder, and holding in [one] and a spear to which was attached a standard, and [in the other] a quiver full of arrows."

To go back to 'Amr ibn-Luhayy. The Mudar ibn-Nizar answered his call, and he, therefore, gave Suwa' to a certain man of the Hudhayl, whose name was al-Harith ibn-Tamim ibn-Sa'd ibn-Hudhayl ibn-al-Ya's ibn-Mudar[56]. It was [erected] in a place called Ruhat in the valley of Naklah where it was worshipped by the neighboring Mudar. One of the Arabs said:

"Ye see them swarming around their king, As the Hudhayl surround their Suwa'; And fill its courts with sacrifice, Picked from among the choicest flocks."

The Madhhij also answered his call, and he, therefore, gave Yaghuth to An'am ibn-'Amr al-Muradi[57] it was placed on a hill in Yemen called Madhhij[58] where it was worshipped by the Madhliij and the neighboring tribes.

The Hamdan also answered 'Amr's call, and he gave Ya'uq to Malik ibn-Marthad ihn-Jusham ibn-Hashid ibn-Jusham ibn-Khayran[59] ibn-Nawf ibn-Hamdin[60]. It was placed in a




village called Khaywan[61], where it was worshipped by the Hamdan and the neighboring tribes of Yemen.

The Himlyar responded to 'Amr's call too, and he delivered Nasr to a man from dhu-Ru'ayn[62] whose name was Ma'di-Karib[63]. It was [erected] in a place in the land of Saba' called Balkha[64], where it was worshipped by the Himyar and the neighboring tribes. They continued to worship it until dhu-Nuwas converted them to Judaism[65]. All these idols continued to be worshipped until God sent the Prophet who ordered that they be destroyed.

Hisham said: I was told by al-Kalbi [my father] on the authority of abu-Salih that ibn-'Abbas related that the Prophet Once said, "One day I beheld Hell from afar off, and saw therein 'Amr ibn-Luhayy, a short titan of red [complexion] and blue eyes, dragging his guts [behind hint] in the midst of the dancing flames. Whereupon I asked, 'Who is this man', and was told, 'he is 'Amr ibn-Luhayy, the first to institute the bahirah, the wasilah, the sa'ibah, the hami(yah), change the religion of Ishmael[66], and summon the Arabs to worship of images[67]. The Prophet added, 'The one among his descendants who resembieth him the most is Qatan ibn-'Abdal'Uzza[68]." Thereupon Qatan sprang to his feet and said, "O Apostle of God, doth the fact that I resemble him in looks do me any harm'?" The Apostle replied, "Thou art a Moslem, but he was an unbeliever[69]."

[At another time] the Apostle of God said, "Once upon a time I was shown the anti-Christ (al-Dajjal), and, behold, he




was a one-eyed man, of brown complexion and curly hair. The one among the banu-'Amr who resembleth him the most is Aktham ibn-'Abd-al-'Uzza[70]. Thereupon Aktham sprang to his feet and said, "0 Apostle of God, doth the fact that I resemble him in looks do me any harm? The Apostle replied,

"No. Thou art a Moslem, but he was an unbeliever[71]."


1. The famous Aksumite viceroy in Yemen from A.D. 525 to 571. He owes his fame in Moslem history to his expedition against Mecca in the so-called 'Am ai-Fil, A.D. 570. See Tabari, vol. I, pp.927-946, 950-952.

2. Sifah, p.55; Buldan, vol.III, pp.420-426.

3. Sifah, p. 40; Sirah, p.29; Tabari, vol. 5, pp.934-936. The exact pronunciation cannot be determined. Yaqut (Buldan, vol. iv, pp. 170-172) gives al-Qulays, but mentions also al-Qullays and al-Qalis as possible variations. Lisan al-'Arab (entry qls) gives al-Qullays. The word comes from Gr. , church.

4. This refers to the practice of postponing the observance of the sacred months, thus allowing an ordinary month to be observed as sacred and a sacred month to go unobserved. See Sirah, pp. 29-30; cf. Surah ix: 37; Jami' al-Bayan, vol. x, pp 90-92. See also Axel Moberg, "Al-Nasi' in der lslamischen Tradition" in Acta Universitatis Lundensis (Nova Series), vol.27 (1931), pp. 1-54.

5. See Tabari, vol. i, pp.927-946, 950-952; Sirah, pp.29-41; Surah cv; Jami' al-Bayan, vol. xxx, pp. 193-197.

6. 'Al-'Anazi; see above, p.3; also al-Dhahabi, al-Mustabah fi Asma al-Rijal, ed. P. de Jong, Leyden, 1881, p.371.

7. See above, p.3,

8. cf. ibn-Sa'd, vol. vi, p.238.

9. Unidentified.

10. See above, p. 30.

11. Amir ibn-Shulla in the "Jamharah" (Escurial MS), folio 252 r.v.

12. Ishtiqaq, p.314.

13. This was a part of the ritual, the wheat serving as an oblation. The poor used to take the wheat, remove from it the impurities of hair and lice, and use it for their bread.

14. cf. al-Jahiz, Kitab al-Bukhala, ed. C. Van Vloten, Leyden, 1900, p.237; do Kitab al-Hayawan, Cairo, 1323-1325, vol. V, p. 114.

15. Ishtiqaq, pp. 181, 279.

16. Sifah, pp.123, 151; Buldan, vol. 1, pp. 340-341, vol. xxi, p.701.

17. Ibn-Hajar al-'Asqalani, aI-Isabah fi Tarn yiz al-Sababah, Vol. vi, Cairo, 1325, p. 112, where the poet's name is Mu'a-wiyah ibn-abi-Rab'ah.

18. cf. Kitab al-Hayawin, vol. v, p.114; Buldan, vol. I, p.341.

19. Al-Fihrist, p.90; al-Ma'arif, p.268.

20. Tabari, vol. 1, p. 1296; al-Aghani, vol. iv, p.19.

21. Ishtiqaq, p.316. The Kinanah were a North Arabian tribe.

22. The Judham, the Lakhmr, and the Quda'ah were South Arabian tribes.

23. Sifah pp. 125, 126, 130, 171; Buldan, vol. II, pp. 790~791.

24. cf. Gen. xv: 25-26, V: 6.

25. Buldan, vol. IV, p. 822.

26. ibid., vol. I, pp.598-599; Sifah, pp. 138, 201, 203; al-Qazwini, 'Aja'ib al-Makhuqat wa-Ghara'ib al-Mawjadat, ed. F. Wüsttenfeld, Göttingen, 1849, p. 198.

27. Sifah, pp. 85ff.; Buldan, vol.II, pp.284-287.

28. Buldan, vol. I, p.879.

29. ibid., vol. II, pp. 3-4.

30. cf. Surah v: 30.

31. Text, "Yardi; Gen. v: 15-20.

32. Cf.. Gen. v: 13-17.

33. Text, "Qaynan cf. Gen. V: 10-14.

34. Cf. Gen. V: 7-11

35. cf. Tabari, vol. I, pp. 155-166.

36. Text, "Ahnukh vi Gen. V: 18-24; Surah XIX:: 57, XXX: 85; Tabari, vol.1, pp 173-177; Jami' al-Baydn, vol. xvi, pp. 71-73, vol. XVII, pp.58-60; al-Tha labi, Qisas al-Anbiya', Cairo, 1297, pp. 46-47.

37. Surah XIX 58 cf. Gen. V: 24.

38. Muhammad ibn al Sa ib, the father of the author.

39. Gen. v: 28-32

40. Text, "Lamk"; Gen V: 25-31.

41. Gen. V: 21 27

42. Gen. ix: 28.

43. cf. above, p.28.

46. Sifah, pp.129, 179. 46

45. cf. above, p.6.

46. Text, ilhaf; cf Ishtiqaq, p.313.

47. Unidentified; cf. Ishtiqaq, pp.313-315.

48. cf. Buldam, vol. iv, pp.912-916.

49. cf. Tabari, vol.1, p.851, vol. ii, p.479

50. Ishtiqaq, p.317.

51. A.H. 9/A.D. 630; Sirah, pp. 893-913; Tabari, vol. I, pp. 1692-1705. al-Waqidi, Kitab al-Maghazi, ed. Alfred von Kremer, Calcutta, 1856, pp. 421-432; Wellhausen, Muhammed an Medana, Berlin, 1882, pp.390-416; ibn-Sa'd, vol. II,, Pt. 1, pp. 118-123.

52. Unidentified. This story as well as the following verses are quoted by al-Qali in his Dhayl al-A mali w-al-Nawadir, Cairo, 1926, P.41.

53. Unidentified.

54. King of Dumat al-Jandal at the time of Muhammad; see Tabari, vol. I, pp 2065-2068; al-Baladhuri, pp. 61-63.

55. The father.

56. Cf. above, p.23.

57. Unidentified.

58. Tabari, vol. III, pp.2361-2362; Shams al-'UIum, p.38.

59. cf. Ishaqaq, p.252, where Ya'uq is given to Khaywan; also Buldan, vol. IV, p.1023.

60. Cf. lshtiqaq, p.250.

61. Sifah, pp.66, 112, 124,203; Buldan, vol.II P. 512.

62. Sifah, p.101.

63. Unidentified; cf. Ryckmans, vol. I, p. 265.

64. Buldan, vol. I, p. 714, vol. iv, pp 780-78I.

65. See above, p.10.

66. So in MS, though the editor accepted Yaqut's reading (Buldan, vol. IV, p. 915), Abraham, in order to conform to the Koranic tradition that the true faith was that of Abraham. Cf. Sirah, p. 51, lines 6, 18.

67. See above, p.6.

68. Unidentified.

69. cf. Muslim, Iman: 274-275, 277.

70. Ibn-Sa'd, vol. iv, pt. 2, p.29; ibn-al-Athir, Usud al-Ghabah, Cairo, 1280, vol. I, p. 123.

71. cf. al-Bukhari, Ta'bir : 33, Fitan: 26.